Two charged with retail theft, intent to deliver drugs


WILKES-BARRE TWP. — A day after they allegedly stole items from the Walmart Supercenter, two people returned to steal more merchandise while possessing packaged bags of illegal drugs.

Township police charged Lana T. Johnson, 23, with concealing merchandise in a plastic storage tote while she was with a child only paying for tote and a pair of slippers on Tuesday.

When was detained, Vance Daw Johnson, 47, approached police inquiring about why she was being held against her will.

As Dawson was converting with police, the store’s loss control officer reported Johnson and Dawson had stolen items from the store on Monday.

Police in court records say Johnson was in possession nine bags of suspected methamphetamine, 10 bags of suspected fentanyl, two cellular phones and various amounts of empty plastic bags stamped with a red apple.

Police further found a bag inside a Lyft vehicle that drove Dawson to the store containing $6,759 cash, 26 bags of suspected methamphetamine, 38 bags of suspected fentanyl, a bag of blue pills, a bag of an unknown purple powder substance and 21 bags of suspected crack cocaine, court records say.

Johnson was with a child while she was carrying the suspected illegal drugs and stealing items, police allege.

Police allege Johnson was pushing a shopping cart as a child walked adjacent to her. Johnson placed a storage tote in the cart she used to place a child’s toy and clothing, police allege.

Johnson proceeded through a self-checkout counter and only paid for the tote and a pair of slippers. She was detained as she exited the store by the store’s loss control officers, court records say.

Police in court records say there was a total of $142.75 of unpaid merchandise concealed in the tote.

As Johnson was detained, Dawson was police asking about why she was being detained. A loss control officer then notified police Dawson and Johnson were involved in stealing merchandise they hid in a bag on Monday, court records say.

Johnson and Dawson were arraigned Wednesday by District Judge Joseph Halesey in Luzerne County Central Court.

Johnson, of Oxford Street, Hanover Township, was charged with two counts each of possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance and retail theft, and one count each of endangering the welfare of children and corruption of minors. She was jailed at the county correctional facility for lack of $25,000 bail.

Dawson, of East Diamond Street, Hazle Township, was charged with two counts of possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance and one count of retail theft. He was jailed at the county correctional facility for lack of $50,000 bail.

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